Socorro Middle School teacher, Karen Arras, was named the 2016 Krispy Kreme and Bush’s Chicken Teacher of the Year.
The eighth grade reading teacher was awarded a $500 prize, an engraved plaque and a Krispy Kreme prize pack. In addition, Socorro Middle also will receive $500.
“I feel on top of the world,” Arras said. “This is an honor given to many teachers across the country. I am so excited. I plan to go on a shopping spree with the money to be honest.”
More than 100 teachers were nominated from the greater El Paso area, said Ricardo Vela, area director for Krispy Kreme.
This is the eighth annual event, Vela said. The award is given to the teacher who not only is a great teacher, but also has become a role model for her students.
“This is our way to show appreciation for those teachers and all they do,” Vela said.
Arras’s students nominated her for the award, said Jon Valdez, principal at Socorro Middle.
“It’s a great honor for our campus,” Valdez said. “This validates all the great things we are doing at Socorro Middle School. It validates all the hard work teachers put in every single day. More importantly, it validates the impact they have on students.”
He wasn’t surprised Arras was honored.
“She is one of our most dedicated teachers on our campus,” Valdez said. “All of them are dedicated, but she goes above and beyond. She has built really good relations with her students. She sets high expectations, she’s consistent and very persistent.”
Second place went to J. Emmanuel Malanche, a teacher from Mission Ridge Elementary School. The special education teacher, received $250 and a plaque. His school also was given $250.
“This is very humbling,” Malanche said. “I am very honored and really surprised. I had no idea.”
The winners were announced at Socorro Middle in front of the eighth grade class. In addition to the prizes, Krispy Kreme handed out doughnuts and milk to the students and guests at the celebration.